Most Affordable (Cheap!) East Bay Summer Camps (2022) - 510 Families
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Most Affordable (Cheap!) East Bay Summer Camps (2022)

Summer camps are back this year and can be quite expensive (our summer camp guide includes some discount codes!). Our informal study shows that basic camps are about $450 per week this year with premium camps coming in much higher. We have found a few gems available at more affordable prices that you should know about. The following East Bay summer camps are offered for less than $250 per week for approximately full-time coverage. Other tips to save money on camps are below.

Affordable East Bay summer camps

Berkeley Day Camp (Berkeley)

Children explore local parks including Tilden Park, Berkeley Marina, and one area beach.
Ages: 5-13, CITs entering grades 10 to 12
Fees: $240 per week (Berkeley resident) | $288 per week (non-resident)
Register >

BMuZ Music Camps (Berkeley)

This is the only half-day camp on our list because it is for middle schoolers, the half-day seems doable. Band, Jazz, Strings, Fiddle, and Choir Camps are offered through Berkeley educators from June 6-10 only.
Grades: 6-9
Fees: $220 per week for a half-day of music camp
Learn more >

🌟 Camp Elmwood (Berkeley)

An urban adventure camp for ages 6 to 13 with teen leaders for 14-18. Camp Elmwood is a community service program of St. John’s Church in Berkeley. From July 25-29 only.
Ages: 6-18
Fees: $80 per week or $75 for a second sibling + $30 additional for aftercare until 5:30 pm
Register >

Doodleton Ranch (Clayton)

Camp explores stewardship with domestic animals and wildlife on a ranch with donkeys.
Ages: 7-11
Fees: $250 per week
Register >

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Codornices Nature Exploration Camp (Berkeley)

Children explore nature at Codornices Park and Creek.
Ages: 7-10
Fees: $210 per week (Berkeley resident) | $252 per week (non-resident)
Register >

Junior Lifeguard Camp (Berkeley, Alameda, Castro Valley)

Lifeguard lessons and skill-building at the beach. This summer, planning to offer 7 one-week sessions at Crown Beach, Contra Loma, Cull Canyon, Shadow Cliffs, and Lake Anza.
Ages: 8-17
Fees: $205 (Alameda or Contra Costa county resident) | $225 (non-resident)
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Oakland Town Camp (Oakland)

Traditional summer day camp program that takes place Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm with swimming, field trips, crafts, games, cooking, and academic enrichment sprinkled in.
Ages: 5-13 | Leaders in training: 13-17
Fees: $370 per 2-week session (Oakland resident) | $444 per 2-week session (non-resident)
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Park’n It Day Camp (various EBRPD parks)

Traditional summer day camp program that takes place Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm in various East Bay Regional Parks.
Ages: 5-12 | Leaders in training: 13-17
Fees: $200 (Alameda or Contra Costa county resident) | $220 (non-resident) | 10% discount for second sibling
Register >

Recreation and Team Sports (Berkeley)

RATS is a play-all-day summer day camp where kids of all ability levels are encouraged to participate. 8 am to 5:30.
Grades: 3-8
Fees: $240 per week
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The “Rec” Summer Camp (Emeryville)

Traditional summer camp experience with weekly themes. 7:30 am to 5:30.
Grades: TK-8
Fees: $152 per week (Emeryville resident) | $157 per week (non-resident)
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🌟 San Pablo Recreation Summer Day Camp (San Pablo)

Wow, now that’s a great price with full coverage for working families! Combination of indoor and outdoor camp activities with one field trip per week. 7:30 am to 6 pm.
Ages: 3-16
Fees: $65 (San Pablo resident) | $75 (non-resident)
Register >

Sports Central Camp (Berkeley)

Designed to introduce middle-grade kids to different sports at Ohlone Park. 9 am to 3 pm. Find swim lessons, skateboard camp, and tennis camp on the City of Berkeley camp website.
Ages: 8-12
Fees: $240 per week (Berkeley resident) | $288 per week (non-resident)
Register >

World of Wonder (Alameda)

Traditional summer day camp program with field trips.
Grades: 1-5
Fees:$246 per week (Alameda resident) | $283 per week (non-resident)
Register >

FYI, Acta Non Verba Farm Camp (Oakland) and Friendship Camp (Albany) drastically raised their rates this year so they’re no longer on the list. ANV has offered camperships to anyone who needs financial help. Just past our cut-off at $275 per week, you’ll find Swings & Wings Camp.

kids going to Angel island
Berkeley Day Camp takes an outing to Angel Island | Photo: Berkeley Day Camp

7 Tips to save money on summer camps

Not all of these tips will work for every family or every camp but you might surprise yourself and lop off $100+ with some scheduling flexibility or creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask.

  1. Find a deal. Our summer camp guide includes dozens of discount codes.
  2. Scholarships. Ask the summer camps staff for a scholarship or need-based rate.
  3. Sign up a sib. There are often multiple kid rate discounts for families or friends.
  4. Bundle. Sign up for more than one week. There are often multi-week discounts available.
  5. Reduce. If you have the flexibility to shorten your hours or days of care, you can save a chunk of change.
  6. Think Rec. Local parks and recreation departments offer great deals for residents, especially if you don’t need full-time care.
  7. Barter. Get creative. Can you make a trade? Do you have a skill that would benefit the camp? Can you prepare snack or run errands to help the staff in order to defray costs?

Did we miss your favorite lower-cost camp option? Help a family out and share it in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Most Affordable (Cheap!) East Bay Summer Camps (2022)”

  1. Also, Town Camp is: Oakland Residents $370 | Non-Residents $444 | 2-week sessions <— so that is the price for TWO weeks…

    1. Svetlana, This camp is $2,000 for a single week, it is not even in the ballpark of “cheap” but if you’ll knock $1750 off the rates, please share your discount code.

      1. I can give a Reasonable discount, however it will not be $1700 for eight days and eight nights of the amazing program.
        I don’t think it is at all possible to find camp that great for $300 LOL

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